Album Reviews
by Tom Beninate
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<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 19
Artist: My Morning Jacket
Album:
Circuital
Year Released: 2011
Rating:

Good melodies, good hooks plus good original songwriting equals a good album. The performances are also good. Each track stands apart and on its own. There are no epic tracks but the Jackets put something special on each tune.
Key Songs: "Circuital", "The Day Is Coming".
Artist: The 1975
Album:
1975
Year Released: 2012
Rating:

A number of these tracks begin with a reasonable yet unoriginal rhythm cut, but eventually they all go nowhere. The recording and production is very good. However, there is simply nothing you can dig in to.
Key Songs: *None*
Artist: Michael Buble
Album:
To Be Loved
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

These are songs, sounds and styles from the past. Buble's crooning vocals are dead-on accurate yet lack that special unique character the great vocalists have. The arrangements and mixes are good.
Key Songs: *Too Many To List*
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Album:
Piece By Piece
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Give Clarkson an "A" for her vocal performance and a "B minus" for her songwriting - which is only marginally better than today's average. The radio hit, "Heartbeat Song" gets dismissed because it annoyingly repeats the chorus.
Key Songs: "Someone", "Run Run Run".
Artist: Celine Dion
Album:
Loved You Back To Life
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

This batch of songs tends to be better than average despite the obvious lack of hooks. Dion delivers the vocals as usual. The mixes are excellent especially on the tracks that do not include some of those "in" special effects.
Key Songs: "Loved Me Back To Fast", "Water And A Flame", "Overjoyed", "At Seventeen".
Artist: One Direction
Album:
Midnight Memories
Year Released: 2013
Rating:

The record begins with a hook lifted from The Who, then proceeds to pilfer from Joan Jett, Van Halen and others. Interestingly, One Direction's original riffs are quite dull. But the band is popular and makes a lot of money. So, they can afford the great mixes and mastering heard here.
Key Songs: "Story Of My Life"
Artist: Emeli Sande
Album:
Our Vision Of Events
Year Released: 2012
Rating:

You get better than average songs with good string arrangements and of course Sande's easy-to-listen-to vocals packed into this one. Her minimal but effective melisma is not overdone. Some tracks end abruptly but that is not a deal breaker.
Key Songs: "Heaven", "My Kind Of Love", "Mountains", "Next To Me".
<prev ... next> ... review index ... page 19
Artist: My Morning Jacket
Album:
The Waterfall
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Who says no one is releasing good records anymore? This retro-based band just released a solid original album with ten good songs. There is a certain liveliness these guys bring forth which is very refreshing in this digital copy-and-paste age. Listen to the entire record.
Key Songs: "In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)", "Thin Line".
Artist: Snoop Dogg
Album:
Bush
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Long-time rapper, Dogg, knows that a big component of a good track is an infectious rhythm. In addition to these you get some really good bass lines. Of course the cool harmonies are also included. This Dogg knows all of the old and new tricks.
Key Songs: "RUA Freak", "Awake".
Artist: Courtney Burnett
Album:
Sometimes I Sit And Think ...
Year Released: 2015
Rating:

Burnett takes us back to the 1970s with these quasi new wave and Eagle-guitar like tracks. Her Lou Reedish vocalizing and Lana Del Ray likeness give her some, though not unique, character. The lyrics are interesting though there might have been too much sitting around when it came to songwriting.
Key Songs: "Dear Fox", "Kim's Caravan".